I am considering a new pre-amp for my 2011 USA Fender Jazz deluxe five string. I think I like the stock pickups, as they still sound like a Fender but are pretty dang quiet. I have found the preamp to be so so, especially the midrange control. I have also found it noisy, and on some sessions have had to go passive because of the noise. Here is what I am looking for:
1. A pickup that will allow a lot of flexibility. I want to use the same bass to play a country gig, or record a smooth jazz record (likely scenario for me believe it or not) I want something with good midrange control in other words.
2. I am primarily a fingerstyle rocker, but I need to get great slap tones every now and then.
3. It needs to be DEAD quiet. Pro recording studio quiet. This is the number 1 concern.
I know I DON't like the Bartolini pre-amp. As I am pining for my old Sadowsky which I had to sell, I am leaning towards his new drop in pre-amp. No mid control, but I know it will sound great and be quiet. I would love to hear some thoughts about the J-retro and Audere as I have never used either. I am big believer in Aguilar gear and would be open to that. I am more into subtle use of the EQ, but I need to get a great scooped sound for modern jazz....
I should also add I need it have a passive tone control and very useful passive mode. Ideally it won't be louder when you engage the active mode if no eq is boosted.
Not sure one will fit into a Jazz along with everything else you want, but the EMG preamps with sweepable mids sound like they'd fit your tone adjustment needs.
Thanks WC. Have you used one before?
Yep. The EMG BQS Control is my favorite preamp, but it has three knobs (one is concentric) so it isn't an easy install in a jazz bass. They make a two knob version (both concentric) that might fit your needs if you're willing to have only one master volume control and no passive tone. It's going to be difficult to fit everything you want on a jazz bass control plate, anyway.
To my ears, the EMG preamps don't alter the sound when the EQ knobs are centered.
I don't have active/passive switches on any of my bass guitars, so I can't do a real comparison, but I don't think there's much level change unless you're boosting or cutting the EQ.
take a look at glockenklang pre-amp. I was after a tone like you describe for my L2500. After changing the original pre-amp with the glock and do the single coil modd It has a very hi-fi tone I was after but still can go passive and parallel / series for each pick-up separately.
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